Gymnastics looks for four-peat in Kalamazoo this weekend
Gymnastics will look to defend its three-time Mid-American Conference championship title at 2 p.m. Saturday when it travels to Kalamazoo for the conference meet.
CMU has won the last three MAC championships and looks forward to making the four-peat a reality. For the seniors, that would mean a championship each year of competition.
“I don’t think there are more than 12 gymnasts in the whole conference that have the talent to compete on all four events,” said head gymnastics coach Jerry Reighard. “This is what an olympic gymnast is. It will be quite a feat if Brittany is to defend her title. Brittany is one-fifth of our team score.”
A key gymnast to watch in the championship is junior Brittany Petzold. Brittany has been to the championships before and has the experience to lead the team to another championship. She scored a solid 39.3 in the all-around and has worked all year to come back from her surgery and has proved herself week in and week out and has shown the rest of the MAC that she is the all-arounder to beat.
Another gymnast to keep an eye out for is sophomore Kylie Fagan, who has scored a 9.8 or higher on bars 11-times this year, including two 9.9s, one of which was last meet. Fagan and underclassmen, like sophomore Taylor Noonan, look to match their high-scores of the season and give depth to the squad.
The team had a good regular-season, but it has an unfamiliar feeling going into the championships.
“It comes down to mental preparation and physical prowess,” Reighard said. “I’ll put my money on this team hands down.”
The Chippewas are not the favorites this year; however, as Kent State is undefeated in all conference meets and 15-2 overall. The Golden Flashes were victorious in early February and scored a high-score of 196.050. KSU has scored 196.250 this year, topping CMU’s best 196.125.
“They have set the pace in the conference this season,” Reighard said. “We know what kind of position they’re in, and we know what we are going to have to do to surpass that.”
In this MAC Championship, they have switched from seeds of teams determining where they start and finish to a random drawing.
CMU will be starting on bars to start the championship.
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